The Secret To Having A Happy Marriage


The secret to having a happy marriage is to realize that marriage alone cannot make you happy. Take a look at this excerpt from chapter one of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, to learn how to truly have a happy marriage.


Chasing a Mirage?


Marriage has the best sales yet the worst advertising of any product on the market.  As a result, it still amazes me how many singles look to a relationship with the opposite gender or marriage itself as a major source for happiness.

​Though marriage is a marvelous institution, it must be noted that happy singles make happy married people.  If a person is unhappy or unfulfilled before marriage, unless something changes within, they will fall short of enjoying a happy marriage.


What is a Great Marriage?


Here is one of the many ways that I describe what makes a great marriage:

A great marriage is when two full grown adults wake up with their cup of happiness and fulfillment full to overflowing.  What spills out of that cup is what should land on the other person.

Do you wake up happy despite the behavior of your spouse? Or, has it been your custom to go through the day thinking that if your spouse would make the right changes, then you could see yourself enjoying a happy marriage? A spouse’s answers to these questions can sometimes be the dividing line between an unhappy or a happy marriage.

If you are waiting for your spouse to change before feeling happy and content, then you are chasing a mirage.  Quite simply, you are investing in a stock that will always yield few returns in that your spouse is too small to be your sole source of emotional and spiritual sustenance. In fact, I often teach that looking to your spouse for happiness and fulfillment can be likened to trying to fill a 55 gallon barrel with a thimble full of water. Your spouse is simply too small in comparison with God.


The Promises of God


The promises of God concerning your own happiness and contentment never hinge upon your spouse’s obedience or disobedience to God.  In fact, the promises of God concerning happiness and joy only rely upon your faith in the faithfulness of God.  Any other approach will cause your emotional state to be like a yo-yo on the string of your spouse’s inconsistencies, and you will be prone to be up one day and down the next.

​When couples enter into marriage looking for happiness, they end up, as Patrick Morely states, becoming “two tics with no dog” (2.).  That is, they suck the life right out of one another, and, it is not too long before they are looking elsewhere for fulfillment.


Fullness of Joy


Psalm 16:11 tells us that in God’s presence there is “fullness of joy”.   The usage of the word fullness teaches us that there is no room for improvement upon the joy that God supplies.

Marriage, on the other hand, is the exact opposite in that, after the wedding day, we quickly see areas in ourselves, the other person, and the relationship that are often lacking.

​Notwithstanding, lest some feel that I have some type of monastic or stoic attitude toward marriage, I would like to point out that I believe that God desires for us to have a happy marriage. This is clearly evident from Proverbs 5.


The Proverbs 5:19 Principle


Proverbs 5:19 tells us that the husband is to always be ravished with the love of his wife.  According to Webster’s dictionary from 1828, the word ravished means to delight to ecstasy.  The word ecstasy means to be carried away with extreme delight or joy.  Therefore, we can conclude that marriage is to be a an emotionally fulfilling relationship, but only after Christ has become what your spouse can never be, your all in all (Ephesians 1:23).

​I deem marriage to be the icing on top of the cake.  That is, matrimony is a fringe benefit to what the Lord has already done in our lives.  Unfortunately, some men and women have little or no cake upon which that icing can rest. In cases as such, their mates often grow weary in their attempts at blessing them as, deep down, I believe they know they can never take the place of God in their lives.


Ordering Our Marriage Book


Our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another, has been designed for individual as well as small group study use. It also makes a great couples devotional with thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter. Order our marriage book at our online resource center, or you may also check out our Kindle Version for immediate download.

Learn More About Our Marriage Resources
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18 comments on “The Secret To Having A Happy Marriage
  1. Heartbroken newlywed says:

    I have been filled with joy and contentment with the Holy Spirit for many years. However I always desired and hoped to marry, so finally at 47 I found a man who I believed was equally yoked with me as a believer and a first timer. I am still filled with joy and purpose in my relationship with Christ, but the first year of marriage, starting from our first week together, was filled with confusion and bewilderment and hurt for me. I am very gentle in my words, as I hate conflict, so I believe I’m not disrespectful to him. My husband is Not ravished by my love, has not expressed any pleasure or enjoyment to have a wife. I have asked for more connection and love, but I have had to accept that Christ is truly my only Source, and He is faithful. My husband blames me for anything hurtful he says to me. He seems to view me as an appliance in the home and the bed, and a buddy to hang out with. I don’t measure up to the impure images he viewed before marriage, and I feel deeply rejected, and confused by how Angry he is.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m in the process of going through a divorce. I don’t want it, my wife does. This will be my 1st and her 2nd. I’m familiar with the stats regarding marriage and remarriage. I had a on/off affair over 4 years. My wife was made aware of it by the other woman. I feel terrible already for what I did, but it kills me to see and feel the hurt, pain confusion and anger that my wife is burdened with. And I hate that I’m the cause of it.
    Our marriage wasn’t necessarily a bed of roses to begin with. There were MAJOR blended family issues, along with mother in law issues that caused problems and resulted in a lack of intimacy.
    I was told I was a terrible father to my step daughter, yet I was regularly expected to conduct my self in a fatherly way. It was a constant and daily reminder to me,through actions and words,that my stepdaughter and mother in law were top priority to my wife. I dont make excuses for what I did. Ifully own it. The blame is on me alone. No one forced me to do it. I regret it eveyday. I wish I could take back what Idid. It is a constant prayer that God will send his spirit upon my wife,and she will forgive me. And hopefully will have a change of heart. But what can I do to show her how genuine and sincere I am? We live in seperate places,but I make myself available to her as much as possible. I’ve had flowers sent to her several times, along with edible arrangements. Helped her around her house. Yet she tells me to move on and shes done, and no matter what I do wont change her mind. Im at a loss. I fast and pray and believe that God is more than able to fix and restore any relationship, and I take comfort in that. But what else can I do? or am I doing too much, or too little?

    • Emily says:

      The fact that you listed a bunch of issues in your marriage shows that you blame the marriage. Marital issues don’t lead to infidelity. Complete selfishness leads to infidelity. Maybe it’s not your wife’s lack of forgiveness that’s the issue here. Could it be you haven’t fully repented and asked for forgiveness from the heart? A woman knows when they are truly loved and their spouse is remorseful. Have you thought about digging deep within yourself and checking your motives and your heart condition. Biblically, adultery resulted in stoning and left the faithful spouse free to move on in life. Your spouse is free to leave the marriage guilt free. Adultery is murder of the heart. You killed her heart and sinned against God. Forgiveness will come in her own time. Unforgiveness didn’t end your marriage. The moment you had sex with another woman outside of your marriage ended your marriage. Often people who cheat want Grace and forgiveness, but didn’t give Grace and forgiveness to their spouse as they were defining the marriage bed. All marriages have issues, but not all marriages have cheaters. Cheaters are selfish, manipulative, controlling liars. That’s the bottom line. Cheating is not a marital issue, it’s a sexually immoral sin that comes from a wicked heart.Its lack of following the Holy Spirit. There wasn’t a flaw in the marital relationship, it was a flaw in the person who cheated and their own lack of closeness to God.

      • Tracey says:

        Emily, you couldn’t have described adultery and what a cheater is any better. It is nothing more than a selfish and prideful person trying to justify their actions by blaming their spouse and/or marriage. I just divorced my husband who cheated for the third time- I know…how could I stay with someone who would do this- and do it more than once? This time around he tore me down to build himself up and emotionally abused me with the blame shifting, projection, manipulation, lying, pretending, etc.

      • Anonymous says:

        Amen. Thank you.

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